Before I moved to Vegas, the books I read about the town painted the picture of an alcoholic Sahara Desert. Most of the year, of course, this is pretty true. But when you’ve grown used to riding out 115-degree July days, the biting winds of late March—late March!?—are disorienting at the least. Nonetheless, my non-resident friends remain convinced that the city of spray tans can’t possibly have winds that cut to the quick. Sitting on the porch of their Miami Beach condo, they laugh and say, “I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get cold in Las Vegas.”
I understand their lack of a reference point for our winter season: “Cold Vegas” doesn’t get much press. So I’m making it my mission to convince the country that we do indeed know how to shiver around here. From now on, in the tales we tell about our fair city, let’s remember these seven simple steps to conveying the Vegas chill:
- Have your story’s “hooker with the heart of gold” walk the street in mukluks and a quilted jacket.
- Refer to the Luxor being fitted with a gigantic triangle-shaped Snuggie.
- Have an outdoorsman character remove the skin off the animatronic bear in the Sam’s Town laser light show and wear it as a coat around the hotel’s RV park.
- Incorporate the weather into moments of Vegas dining: “The NASCAR Café’s 6-pound burrito gave Leslie a flaming stomach-acid burn that was a welcome weapon against the chill.”
- Mention that your characters are wearing fingerless gloves. They’d like to be wearing mittens, but they need their bare digits for touch-screen poker.
- Have an intoxicated and belligerent man who is cold purposefully provoke the cops until he gets tasered for warmth.
- Write about a couple that chooses a drive-through wedding not for speed or convenience but because it’s very cold and they don’t want to get out of the car.